MEDFORD, Ore. — Citizen-soldiers from the Oregon National Guard continue to return from overseas mobilization in Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, and Kosovo — the second largest mobilization of these units since World War II, according to the Oregon Military Department.
Roughly 100 local Guardsmen arrived in Medford on Tuesday after a nine-month deployment in Djibouti, Africa. The week prior, the first group of citizen-soldiers arrived in Portland — all members of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The last comparable mobilization of Oregonians happened between 2009 and 2010.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Forest Grove Mayor Peter B. Truax are scheduled to greet troops based out of Forest Grove and arriving in Portland between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm. on Wednesday.
“On behalf all Oregonians, I thank the members of the Oregon Army National Guard for their service, commitment and sacrifice,” said Merkley. "The support they provide allows the rest of us to live in a safer, more secure country. I know the loved ones of our brave service members will be overjoyed to have them home, and I look forward to joining them today to thank them for their commitment to serve and protect."
More citizen-soldiers are scheduled to arrive home throughout the month of August, with staggered arrivals next week in Portland, and more to Medford by the end of the month. The last group of soldiers from the 41st, currently deployed in Kosovo, are expected to arrive back in Oregon before Christmas.
Each of the groups must undergo a two-week quarantine at their demobilization site in Ft. Bliss, Texas prior to their return home to Oregon.